Cliff McCarthy, 2016
Both Timothy Potter and Susanna Punderson were great-great-grandchildren of founders of New Haven colony. In fact, they were fourth cousins, once removed, to each other, both being descendants of William and Frances Potter. Susanna Punderson was also the great-great-granddaughter of John Punderson, who was chosen as one of the “Seven Pillars” of the New Haven colony.
Timothy Potter was born in New Haven on 12 February 1731/32*. His father, Joseph, died in 1743 when Timothy was only about eleven years old and his mother never re-married. According to Families of Ancient New Haven, Timothy was not baptized until 1743, the year of his father’s death. He had three brothers and a sister.
In 1756, Timothy Potter married Esther Mix in New Haven. They had three children together before Esther died. Timothy married Susanna Punderson on 2 August 1768 in New Haven. They had six children: two girls and four boys, including our ancestor Allen Potter.
Susanna died after 1787 and Timothy married a third time to Keturah, whose maiden name has not been discovered.
Timothy Potter and family lived in an area of New Haven that grew to become the Town of Hamden, Connecticut. Hamden became its own town in 1786 and Timothy Potter is considered one of the founding members of that community. He was enumerated in Hamden in the first U.S. census in 1790: he was the head of a household of six.
Timothy Potter died in Hamden on 24 October 1799 leaving a will. By the terms of his will, he:
1) ordered his debts be paid,
2) bequeathed one-third of his property to his wife “Katurah” during her widowhood, but if she re-married, she would relinquish her right to that bequest and would be granted only thirty pounds,
3) because son Alling Potter “hath met with the misfortune to luce one of his hands,” he was granted twenty pounds more than his equal portion,
4) because son James Potter “Labors under the Infirmity of Deafness,” he was granted thirty pounds more than his equal portion,
5) daughter Catharine was granted right to “Live in the North Room of my hous with Liberty to use the Sellar and to pass through the Kitchen for to go to the Well for Water,” plus thirty pounds,
6) daughter Esther, wife of John Camp, to receive twenty-five pounds,
7) daughter Susanna to receive twenty-five pounds,
8) remainder of estate to be divided between six sons: Timothy, Titus, Jared, Alling, John & James. “Whereas my son Titus is Not prudent in Consarns [Concerns], I order and my Will is that he shall have only the use and Improvement of that part of my estate that shall be Set to him during his Natural life, but in case he should Marry and have Children, then said part shall belong to his Children and their heirs for Ever,”
9) appointed Stephen Ford and wife Katurah as the executors of his will, dated 3 November 1794.
His wife Keturah and Stephen Ford carried out their duties as co-executors of Timothy’s estate as evidenced by this item from the Connecticut Journal of December 5, 1799:
“The Hon. Court of Probate for New Haven district, has limited and allowed six months from this date, for the creditors to the estate of Mr. Timothy Potter, late of Hamden, deceased, to exhibit their claims to
Stephen Ford, executors
Hamden, Nov. 18, 1799.
All persons indebted, are desired to make immediate payment.”
Timothy Potter was buried in State Street Cemetery in Hamden, about which Rachel Hartley wrote, in The History of Hamden, Connecticut, 1768-1938:
“The original burying ground of the State Street locality was a few rods north of the present one, and when the new plot was opened, apparently only the markers made the short journey; for when the cellar was dug for the wooden schoolhouse, many ancient bones were discovered there. The oldest grave is that of TIMOTHY POTTER … He “departed this life Oct. 24, 1799, in the sixty-ninth year of his age.” The verse on his stone is:
Come My Companion, behold and see
The clods that doth cover me,
And on my right hand often view
The clods reserved to cover you.
This adjuration was faithfully complied with, for in 1838 his wife was buried at his right.”
* This date predates the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in September of 1752. Before then, the year began on March 25. Dates between January 1 and March 25 list both the current and succeeding year, separated by a slash mark. Under today’s calendar, 12 February 1731/32 would be 12 February 31, 1732.
Children of Timothy, Esther (Mix) & Susanna (Punderson) POTTER
TIMOTHY POTTER was born 12 February 1731/32 in New Haven, CT, and died 24 October 1799. He married (1) ESTHER MIX 15 February 1756 in New Haven, CT, daughter of GEORGE MIX and KATHERINE TUTTLE. She was born 22 November 1732. He married (2) SUSANNA PUNDERSON 2 August 1768 in New Haven, CT, daughter of DAVID PUNDERSON and THANKFUL TODD. She was born 16 August 1744. He married (3) KETURAH. She died Abt. 1838.
Children of TIMOTHY POTTER and ESTHER MIX are:
i. TITUS POTTER, d. Aft. 1794.
ii. TIMOTHY POTTER, JR., b. 30 October 1756; d. 15 November 1816; m. MARTHA TURNER, 14 March 1781, First Congregational Church, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT; b. Abt. 1757; d. 28 October 1838.
iii. CATHARINE POTTER, b. Abt. 1763; d. Aft. 1794.
Children of TIMOTHY POTTER and SUSANNA PUNDERSON are:
iv. JARED POTTER, b. 11 July 1769; d. Aft. 1794.
v. ALLEN POTTER, b. 7 April 1771; d. 1 November 1831, New Haven, CT; m. PATTY STOW; b. 20 May 1776, Middletown, Middlesex Co., CT; d. Aft. 1830.
vi. JOHN POTTER, b. Abt. 1773; d. Aft. 1794.
vii. ESTHER POTTER, d. Aft. 1794; m. JOHN CAMP.
viii. JAMES POTTER, b. Abt. 1778; d. Aft. 1794.
ix. SUSANNA POTTER, b. Abt. 1787; d. Aft. 1794.
- 1790 U.S. Census for Timothy Potter (Hampden, New Haven Co., CT).
- Hartley, Rachel M., History of Hamden, Connecticut, 1786-1936 (Hamden, CT; 1943).
- Jacobus, Donald Lines, Families of Ancient New Haven (Genealogical Publishing Co.; Baltimore, MD, 1981).
- Todd, John Edwards, comp., George Iru Todd, ed., Todd Family in America (Gazette Printing Co., Northampton, MA, 1920.).
- Will of Timothy Potter (Hampden, New Haven Co., CT, 1799, as reproduced at www.Ancestry.com).